Just some of the ways you can enjoy our gourmet popcorn

At Empire we’ve found popcorn to be one of the most versatile snacks known to man. While the majority of you may think it’s merely a movie time snack, we happen to know that’s not the case so here are just some of our best ways to enjoy our gourmet popcorn outside of the cinema or away from the sofa.

Popcorn for breakfast!

Breakfast popcorn anyone? It might surprise you to know that popcorn was once a hugely popular breakfast food back in Colonial America. Looking back, you could deem it very ahead of its time and a likely role model for the multitude of cereals we see on our supermarket shelves today. Long before the onset of Kelloggs, people enjoyed their popcorn ground up with milk or cream. Although in-between-meal snacking was discouraged, popcorn was most certainly still considered an important food as a meal in itself. Popcorn was whole grain and therefore praised as being easily digested and very wholesome as it presented the grain in its entirety.

It was therefore considered far superior to a number of other breakfast foods at the time. Colonists weren’t the only ones that enjoyed a popcorn breakfast either. The Iroquois, also known as theHaudenosaunee, also used popcorn as a breakfast food however they enjoyed theirs hot by pounding the popcorn in water until it thickened and then added milk, cream and in some cases sugar and syrup. If they were on the move then the early Native Americans would pound the popcorn into a powdery meal and mix with water at a later date before eating. This was their meal on the run.

Today however, popcorn needn’t be ground in order to make a fantastic breakfast meal. Popcorn for breakfast is fun and easy to prepare and what’s more, it’s naturally low in calories. Air popped, it only has around 31 calories per cup and like any other cereal, it works well with all manner of toppings too. Throw your popcorn in a bowl and simply add milk, then it’s up to you what you add. We suggest adding a teaspoon or two of sugar or even cinnamon sugar along with a few stir ins such as dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit or even a few tropical touches such as coconut flakes or dried pineapple pieces. Just mix and match until you’ve found your perfect combination.

Now for something completely different entirely, perhaps it’s your daughter’s birthday party this weekend and she’s asked you for something extra exciting to eat on the day. You want the party to be fun but at the same time you want to ensure she isn’t eating too badly. The perfect way to compromise is by creating a clever twist on two of her favourite foods, pizza and popcorn.

Ask yourself this, what could a child love more than pizza and popcorn? A popcorn pizza of course. This delicious recipe with Italian hints will satisfy the sweet tooth as well as your need to give her something healthy and wholesome because don’t forget, popcorn is indeed a wholegrain that offers carbohydrates and fibre for growing bodies. If you really want to be extra healthy then you could even used dried fruit instead of sweets as decorations or “toppings”. 

It’s so easy to make too; all you’ll need are 3 tablespoons of butter, a bag of mini marshmallows, 2 quarts of popped popcorn and 1 tube of red icing. You’ll also need 1 packet of red raspberry fruit roll up and then sweets to decorate. We recommend things like green jellybeans or candy-coated chocolate. Spray a 12-inch pizza pan with some cooking spray and then set it aside. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the marshmallows; keep it at a medium heat for this. When the marshmallows are melted, stir in the popcorn until it’s completely coated. Spread the mixture you’ve made evenly over the pizza pan you prepared earlier and then drizzle the red piping icing over as the pizza sauce. Using your fruit roll up, create your slices of pepperoni and decorate the rest as desired. Make sure it’s cooled completely before you cut it into pizza slices and serve. This should make around 8 slices. 

The Les Misérable film that recently hit our cinema screens reminded us just why we love France. There is of course the magical and mythical Paris that we know only too well as the city of love. Our affection for France runs far deeper than its loving city however, especially with their countless offerings when it comes to art, history, fashion and of course food. Haute cuisine in France is known for its meats and stews while nouvelle cuisine is a lot healthier and more vibrant. If you’re looking for a quick taste of France then we suggest trying this simple yet delicious recipe for Lavender Provencal Popcorn.

All you’ll need are 2 quarts of popped popcorn, 1 tablespoon of soft butter, 2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence with lavender, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. Place the popcorn in a large bowl and slowly drizzle the melted butter over it giving the popcorn a good toss to make sure it’s well covered. Then all that’s left is to sprinkle the herbs, garlic and salt and toss again before serving. 

Have you got any ideas of how else to enjoy popcorn? If so, send them in and show us just how you like to eat yours.